New Year's Eve is approaching and everyone is weighing up plans. You might be applying pressure on a friend to put their excellent house to use for a party, proudly possessing club tickets to catch your favourite DJ shell it out at midnight, or committed to about five different motives across the city and already sweating about the Uber bill that's gonna hit you as hard as the hangover on January 1.
'Til then, it's pedal down on celebration mode. Wherever you are and whatever you're doing, the tracks below will provide a perfect soundtrack to your pres, party or afters while seeing out 2018.
Shinichi Atobe ‘So Good, So Right’
Beautifully orchestrated house music from the enigmatic Japanese techno producer. The opener from his surprise album ‘Heat’, ‘So Good, So Right’ takes you straight back to the summer with its warm, infectious synths and groove-driven drums. At just over 12 minutes long, it is the ideal track for getting people into the relaxed party vibe. Make sure to check out the full album too.
Octo Octa ‘Beam Me Up' (To The Goddess Mix)
Octo Octa and Eris Drew are masters in invoking the sound of 90s rave and house, both through their DJ sets and productions, and never has this been more apparent than on their split EP ‘Devotion’. ‘Beam Me Up’ is arguably the standout on the record, with its emphatic breakbeats and soaring melodies. Here, Octo Octa expertly transports us right into the rave. Perfect peak-time NYE material.
Overmono ‘iii’s front’
Perhaps the most complete release from brothers Truss and Tessela’s Overmono moniker. Recently released on label Whities, 'iii’s Front' is a drum-heavy, jazz-infused masterpiece that, at its climax, feels as if you’re witnessing a live Buddy Rich solo. This track is befitting both for the night’s summit and for the after-party.
Dj Koze ‘Pick Up’
Our 2018 track of the year. Widely regarded as the song of this summer, DJ Koze's ‘Pick Up’ is the kind of contagious modern disco record that quickly becomes an instant classic. It’s melancholy sample, taken from Gladys King’s ‘Neither One of Us’, was also featured on Midland's ‘Final Credits’, and the two tracks carry the same charm. A modern masterpiece and a must have for any New Year's Eve playlist.
Peggy Gou ‘It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)’
No 2018 list would be complete without this track. Unquestionably among the biggest dance records of the year, Peggy Gou’s hypnotic vocals, sung in Korean, soar over some stunning instrumentation in the form of jazzy vibraphones and keys. ‘It Makes You Forget’ is the apex in what was a stellar 2018 for Peggy Gou.
Adam Pits ‘Socket Power’
Electro is still on the up, and releases like the debut from Leeds-based producer Adam Pits on London-Leeds label Holding Hands are leading the charge. This slamming electro track has come to dominate dancefloors across the country with its hard, glitchy sound. Prior to the ‘Socket Power’ EP’s release, Adam Pits was something on unknown entity so watch this space for him in 2019.
Laksa ‘It Feels Like We’ve Been Here Before’
Another Whities release, this time from the label’s Blue series. Here, Laksa delivers some deep, thoughtful techno on one of the year’s standout records. Discordant breakbeats drive ‘It Feels Like We’ve Been Here Before’ forward, providing us with a welcome insight into what the future of techno might sound like. 2019 here we come.
Pearson Sound ‘Earwig’
'Earwig' is bit of a left turn from the Hessle Audio crew member, and reminiscent of Plastikman’s ambient techno classic ‘Pakard’. Whilst not quite as rich and complex as his previous releases, the track’s slow acid bassline and trap-like hi-hats render it just as effective for the dancefloor. All in all, this is a great party tune, especially for when things get a bit slow later in the night. The video is definitely worth a watch too.
A perennial favourite for UK heavyweights such as Pangaea and Batu this year, Ploy’s ‘Ramos’ is one of those simple techno records that stays with you for days after your first listen. Much like ‘iii’s Front’, it represents a successful exploration into how far you can take percussion as the focal point when producing leftfield techno. Throw in some surging, detached vocals alongside the drums and you have one of the year’s best records.
Rezzett ‘Worst Ever Contender’
The beatless opening two minutes of ‘Worst Ever Contender’ mean it's not your typical ‘party’ record. However, when its lo-fi, jungle influenced drums finally come in, it transforms into the quintessential insular house party track. Another great 2018 release from The Trilogy Tapes. Every New Year's party needs a bit of jungle.
Donato Dozzy ‘Cleo’
Whilst maybe more for an after-party than the party itself, Donato Dozzy’s ‘Cleo’ still more than deserves a spot on our list. It is both trancey and euphoric, building to something that slowly falls away, much like the trajectory of a New Year's Eve night out. Eerie records label boss Marco Shuttle described listening to the the EP for the first time as ‘love at first sight’. What better way to see in the first day of 2019.
Upsammy 'Another Place'
Taken from her stunning debut solo EP, De School resident Upsammy here delivers a track that is dreamy, big and perfect for the dancefloor. With its killer synth line and off-kilter drum patterns, ‘Another Place’ is a further slice of 2018 techno that transports us right into the future. Using samples from compatriot Legowelt, according to a recent interview Upsammy, real name Thessa Torsing, was trying to invoke the sound of the Hague on the track. It is this level of consideration and complexity that renders ‘Another Place’ one of the stand-out tracks of the year.
James Dewar is a freelance journalist, follow him on Twitter